Yorkshire man 'takes stand' against parking fine at petrol station - and wins in court

A Yorkshire man is celebrating victory over an over-zealous parking firm fine.

Lee Sparkes refused to pay a fee he was slapped with by HX Car Park Management Ltd after parking up at the Shell petrol station on Salterhebble Hill in Halifax.

The 45-year-old, who runs LS Decorating and Handyman Services, stresses he had checked he was not causing any obstruction but still found himself with the fine.

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He kept receiving letters and requests to pay, which he kept refusing. Over time, the fee - handed to him in 2019 - rose from £60 to around £300.

Lee Sparkes refused to pay the parking fine he received at the Shell garage in Salterhebble, Halifax

The parking firm eventually took the matter to court but, when the case was heard at Bradford County Court last month, a judge found in favour of Mr Sparkes.

The judge said the terms for allowing drivers to stop on the site were “unclear and unenforceable” because if no stopping was allowed on a petrol station site, that would mean anyone stopping to fill up at the pumps or buy anything from the station shop would also be breaching the rules.

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“I wanted to take a stand,” said Mr Sparkes. “They’re making money off people.”

He posted news of his success on social media and said he has been inundated with messages of support and also stories from others who have been fined at the same spot.

He fears there have been people paying hundreds of pounds in fees for doing the same as him.

“One woman told me she’d been fined after stopping to put her kid’s seatbelt back on,” he said.

He added he wants to encourage other people to consider challenging their parking fines if they consider them unfair.

HX Car Park Management has sites across the UK and specialises in ANPR and data analytics.